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Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example

Please answer the prompt question(s) in essay form. Your essay must contain clear and concise analysis, be printed, at least three pages in length (no more than five), double-spaced, with one-inch margins and twelve-point font.

Prompt Question:

In advocating for herself to work on the Mercury capsule launch, Katherine Johnson said to her bosses, “Tell me where you want the man to land, and I’ll tell you where to send him up.” How were the women in Hidden Figures able to express confidence in their work and abilities? In what ways was that confidence validated by their coworkers? Why is studying these stories so important to better understanding the history of the fight for civil rights during the Cold War era?


The women in “Hidden Figures” were able to express confidence in their work and abilities through their dedication, expertise, and determination to excel in their respective fields. Despite the societal barriers and prejudices they faced as African-American women working in a highly competitive and male-dominated environment, they demonstrated their skills, knowledge, and resilience to make significant contributions to the field of aerospace engineering and mathematics.(Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example)

Katherine Johnson’s quote reflects her self-assuredness and willingness to tackle complex calculations necessary for space missions. Her confidence came from her exceptional mathematical abilities, which she had honed through years of education and experience. This level of confidence was shared by her colleagues, Mary Jackson and Dorothy Vaughan, who also stood their ground in pursuing their ambitions.(Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example)

Their confidence was validated by their coworkers and supervisors as they consistently produced accurate and innovative work that proved invaluable to the success of NASA’s space missions. Their white male colleagues began to recognize their talents and expertise, breaking down some of the initial skepticism and prejudice they faced. Over time, the women’s achievements and contributions spoke for themselves, earning them respect and recognition within the workplace.(Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example)

Studying the stories of these remarkable women is essential for better understanding the history of the civil rights movement during the Cold War era for several reasons:

  1. Representation and Role Models: Their stories provide crucial representation of African-American women who defied societal norms and expectations, becoming role models for generations to come. Their achievements inspire marginalized communities and show that talent and determination can triumph over systemic barriers.
  2. Challenging Stereotypes: The stories of these women challenge stereotypes about the capabilities of women and people of color in fields traditionally dominated by white men. Their success undermines the false notion that certain groups are inherently less capable in certain professions.(Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example)
  3. Complexity of Civil Rights Struggles: Their experiences highlight the intersectionality of their identities, as they faced both gender and racial discrimination. Studying their stories helps us appreciate the complexity of civil rights struggles during that time.
  4. Contribution to National Achievements: The contributions of these women were integral to the success of NASA’s space missions, reflecting their dedication to the advancement of science and technology. This challenges the notion that the civil rights movement was solely a struggle for social and political rights, emphasizing its connection to broader national achievements.(Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example)
  5. Historical Context: Understanding their achievements within the context of the Cold War era sheds light on the societal and political dynamics of the time. It showcases the United States’ desire to portray itself as a leader in scientific and technological advancements, even as it grappled with internal inequality.(Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example)

Overall, studying the stories of the women from “Hidden Figures” enriches our understanding of the civil rights movement, the challenges faced by marginalized groups, and the power of determination and resilience in the face of adversity. It’s a testament to the progress made, while also highlighting the work that remains to be done in achieving true equality(Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example)

(Hidden Figures Analysis Essay Example)



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